Position Essay - Self Study

Project 2: Position Essay on Student Source Use

4-5pp, 5 source minimum (1000-1500 words), 15% of overall course grade

Project Components:
Essay 2
Peer Review and Draft and Blackboard & class (part of participation grade)
Like Essay One, this essay asks you to analyze and interpret sources. Unlike your first essay, however, this essay asks that you take a position on your own student writing and source use by combining primary source artifacts (your own essays and Blackboard postings) with secondary sources (readings provided to you on Blackboard). Use only the primary and secondary sources that I have provided to formulate and support your position statement. Be sure to cite all direct quotes and paraphrases.
In this Project you will build an argument about student source use, research and reading strategies, and reactions to revision comments based on secondary sources provided to you in combination with your own primary sources, in the form of assigned essays, drafts and peer review. You are going to consider what scholars have suggested about how student writers use sources, how they incorporate comments, and what types of source most interest them, and then ultimately assert a position regarding what your own source use strategies are and how you engage with research and revision. You may bring in one primary source (essay, writing assignment) from another course to support your assertions about yourself as a writer.
Ultimately, you will take a position (a thesis you discover) on an issue and support this position with the secondary sources that the class has read and with your own experience. This assignment allows you to focus on integrating your ideas with the ideas in sources with an eye to avoiding the type of "patchwriting" discussed in "Writing from Sources, Writing from Sentences."

Examples of possible positions might include:
1. I am a student writer who relies primarily on "patchwork" approaches to sources, with occasional moments of summary, but who incorporates comments on drafts that provoke substantive revision.
2. When integrating web sources into my writing, I engage more deeply with multimedia sources, focusing in particular on websources from search engines and dictionaries. I am not, however, always aware of the advocacy context of these sources and I tend to rely heavily on direct quotes when I use sources.
3. As a writer and researcher, I tend to get lost in "data smog," and I have difficulty being able to summarize sources holistically and find reliable research to support my views. I am more comfortable reading "word bites" and relying on patchwork source use to support a thesis that sometimes I don't really believe in.

You will need to build your argument using sources provided via the Blackboard reading folders and you will be evaluated on reading comprehension, engagement, and use of these sources in addition to written communication and critical thinking objectives.

Preparing your Introduction
-Brainstorm approaches to developing your own introduction

What is a key point you want to make about your own research and writing.
Examples? (responses to FYC vs. writing studies, problems reading and choosing websources as defined by McClure, patchwriting and reading, inability to develop summary as defined by Howard and Serviss, negative revision responses to teacher comments on writing as defined by Sommers, ideas about the 5 paragraph essay and form vs. content as discussed by Perelman…)

-Now find at least 4-5 pieces of evidence supporting this statement from Blackboard postings, your essay drafts, revisions, peer reviews, conferences with me, and possible feedback or source use on 1 other assignment.

-Develop an introduction that states your main point and introduces your supporting evidence.

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